Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Thursday, February 27, 2014

100 Years Ago:
Quotes from February 1914

Since the [South American battleship building] naval rivalry began in 1910, financial conditions, which were none too good then, have grown worse; and as time approaches for the final payment, feeling has been growing in these countries that perhaps they are much more in need of money than of battleships.
U.S. Minister to Chile Henry Prather Fletcher

The situation alluded to above led to an important development in 1914.  The dreadnought shown fitting out at a Tyneside shipyard in early 1914 started out as the Brazilian  Rio de Janeiro. It was subsequently sold by Brazil  to Turkey as the  Sultân Osmân-ı Evvel.  Then as war broke out Britain, fearful of a German-Turkish alliance, seized the now completed ship, renaming it HMS Agincourt.  This in-turn  built considerable ill-will in Turkey where the purchase of the ship had been partially funded by public subscription.

Positive [arms-control] proposals have not yet reached Germany [from Britain]. If they did they would certainly be examined with good will.
Admiral Tirpitz

Serbia desires the maintenance of peace in the Balkans, and that complications be avoided, for Serbia needs peace . . . In order to recuperate and in order that she may arm herself afresh for the defence of Serbian national interests.
Serbian Minister Pašić to Tsar Nicholas II

[The Berlin-Baghdad Railroad] would permanently diminish English credit in the East and throughout all Islam. . .[it would] squeeze us out of Asiatic Turkey. . .[as our of East Africa where we surrendered to her territory which was ours.]
The British press responds to the granting the concession for the Baghdad Railroad to Germany

A future Anglo-German war will become an armed conflict between two groups of powers. The central factor of the period of world history through which we are now passing is the rivalry between England and Germany.  This rivalry must inevitable lead to an armed struggle between them, the issue of which will, in all probability, prove fatal to the vanqueished side. . . the future Anglo-German war will undoubtedly be transformed into an armed conflict between two groups of powers. . .
Durnovo Memorandum

Pancho Villa, Public Relations Genius

No great man in the public eye at present understands the value of publicity to greatness better than Francisco [Pancho] Villa.
New York Times


  1. Field Marshal Lord Roberst of Kandehar:

    "In the year 1912, just as in 1866 and just as in 1870, war will take place the instant the German forces by land and sea are, by their superiority at every point, as certain of victory as anything in human calculation can be made certain...We may stand still. Germany always advances and the direction of her advance, the line along which she is moving, is now most manifest. It is towards...complete supremacy by land and sea"

    Manchester speech 22 October 1912

  2. That is Brigadier General John J. Pershing next to Poncho.
    T. Morgan